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Hyperion Records

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Front photograph by Malcolm Crowthers
Track(s) taken from CDH55448
Recording details: September 1993
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: March 1994
Total duration: 19 minutes 13 seconds

'The Westminster boys display an uncanny empathy with these miniature masterpieces. Their musicianship shines through every carefully measured phrase and dynamic' (BBC Music Magazine Top 1000 CDs Guide)

'One of the richest choral experiences of 1994' (Choir & Organ)

'A beautiful disc … a performance of the Mass which is utterly captivating … I have to confess to being completely bowled over by these gems' (CDReview)

Mass in G major
August 1937; dedicated to the composer's father
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Kyrie  [3'36] GreekEnglish
Gloria  [4'19] LatinEnglish

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The difficult Messe en sol majeur completed in August 1937 is one of the most important a cappella works to be written this century. It is dedicated to the memory of the composer’s father; the dedication, twenty years after his death, is a testament the depth of feeling hidden inside Poulenc and released through his new encounter with Roman Catholicism. The work is a missa brevis—that is to say that the Credo is omitted. The central section of the Kyrie (at the words ‘Christe eleison’) is one of the most beautiful passages in all of Poulenc’s choral music. This composer is capable of great tenderness in his musical compositions, and this is perhaps demonstrated most clearly in the haunting solo treble line of the Agnus Dei.

It is interesting that some of the musical gestures learned in his youth and through Les Six gain a seriousness in his choral works which is most refreshing: the bass line at ‘Qui tollis peccata mundi’ in the Gloria of the Messe; the frequent use of detaché chords and the whimsical nature of the Sanctus.

from notes by William McVicker © 1994

Other albums featuring this work
'The Music of Westminster Cathedral' (WCC100)
The Music of Westminster Cathedral
Buy by post £4.50 This album is not yet available for download WCC100  Super-budget price sampler  
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